Class-action suit: Hack against SC is a Category 5 "Cyber Hurricane"

Published: Oct. 31, 2012 at 7:18 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 10, 2012 at 8:18 PM EST
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John Hawkins (Source:
John Hawkins (Source:

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A former state legislator has filed a class-action lawsuit against Gov. Nikki Haley and the state Department of Revenue in the case of 3.6 million tax returns being retrieved by an international hacker.

Former state Sen. John Hawkins, a Spartanburg attorney, filed the suit on Wednesday, stating that Haley and the Revenue Department violated state law by not disclosing the hack quickly enough.

"This hacking amounts to a 'Cyber Hurricane' and it's a Category 5," said a statement released by Hawkins.

Officials found out about the breach on October 10. On October 16, investigators uncovered two attempts to probe the system in early September, and later learned that a previous attempt was made on August 27.

Haley, the State Law Enforcement Division, and the Revenue Department revealed the hack to the public on October 26.

The governor was asked about the lawsuit and was very frank in her response.

"There is a trial lawyer with a hand out and a tissue ready at any crisis," said Haley.

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